Stig Sasse

Stig grew up in Sweden and played soccer as most. He was a leftie and always played left back. He moved to the US when he was 27, but didn't play again until 53, after raising his family, working abroad and returning to the US in 1978. He played in a fun league in New Fairfield, Connecticut, but found it more difficult to keep up with the 20-somethings! So he moved to refereeing - first 6-year olds, then moving up in age. This was a move that would positively impact a lot of people for a lot of years.

The family moved to North Carolina in 1986 and Stig continued to referee, both club and for high school, and began to assess other referees. When he retired from business in 1989, he turned his full attention to soccer! He continued to referee, passing the physical test into his 70's, but turned exclusively to assessing in his mid-70's. While he started to slow after turning 80, he still worked on soccer assessment paperwork until he was 84, as he loved the game, the players and his fellow referees.

Stig was never one to shy from conversation, whether it be mentoring young coaches, referees, and players, or giving you the time of day. Whether he was coming off his own game, or just at the fields, it would be easy to find Stig in conversation with a player or coach! Many of NC Youth Soccer's coaches and players have had the pleasure of his insight, professionalism and friendship.

Stig eventually advanced to the rank of National Assessor. Even though he never officiated at the professional level, Stig's insight as an assessor - and maybe more importantly as a human being - was a valuable tool in assisting even the highest level referees to improve.

Mister Stig Sasse, with the big smile and friendly, conversational personality, felt strongly that assuring the safety, fairness and fun in soccer is the essence of the referee's job. Stig will be missed by many, but forgotten by none.